Holy Invisibility Batman!

posted Feb 2, 2011, 9:33 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Physicists at the University of Birmingham have succeeded in making a paperclip invisible!  The experiments used natural calcite crystals to reflect light and represent the first time a macroscopic object has been successfully cloaked!

Read more in Nature Communications

Arsenic replaces phosphorus!

posted Dec 15, 2010, 6:52 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Researchers in the United States have isolated a bacterium from Mono Lake in California which grows in the presence of high concentrations of arsenic.  The researchers showed that the strain GFAJ-1 of the Halomonadaceae substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in nucelic acids and proteins.  The article is available at the Science journal website. 

Space Beer

posted Sep 29, 2010, 8:14 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis   [ updated Sep 29, 2010, 8:20 PM ]

Well of course we Australians have got our priorities straight! The 4 Pines brewing company in Manly has produced a beer specifically for microgravity environments.  The beer is soon to be tested in a series of weightless test flights by Astronauts 4 hire.  Some people get all the cool jobs ;-).

Newly found habitable exoplanet!!

posted Sep 29, 2010, 7:56 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Pack your bags ;-) because astronomers have just discovered a new planet (Gliese 581 g) that has enough gravity to hold an atmosphere and may contain water! More details an be found at Science Daily

Optical tweezers used to move particles 1.5 m!

posted Sep 8, 2010, 10:23 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Researchers from the Australian National University have shown that their optical tweezers are able to move small particles over 1.5 m.  Read more about it at

Green Fluorescent Protein Based Solar Cells

posted Sep 8, 2010, 10:18 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden are using GFP to generate solar cells. The team deposit two aluminium electrodes with a tiny gap between them onto a silicon dioxide substrate. A droplet of green fluorescent protein is then added on top, whereupon the protein assembles itself into strands between the electrodes.  When exposed to ultraviolet light, the GFP absorbs photons and emits electrons, which travel around a circuit to produce electricity.  Read more about this at New Scientist magazine.

3.5 angstrom structure of Adenovirus

posted Sep 6, 2010, 4:34 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

The structure of adenovirus has been determined at 3.5 angstrom resolution by researchers at Scripps.  This is the largest complex ever determined at atomic resolution.  See the full article at (pages 1071-1075)

World's Most Powerful X-ray Laser

posted Aug 17, 2010, 6:01 PM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Monday dedicated the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world's first and most powerful X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.Read all about it at

Australian Synchrotron User Meeting

posted Jul 19, 2010, 12:32 AM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis

The Australian Synchrotron User Meeting will be held at the Rydges Hotel in Carlton from November 22-24.

Australian Synchrotron Open Day

posted Jul 19, 2010, 12:28 AM by Leanne Harris Dyksterhuis   [ updated Jul 19, 2010, 12:31 AM ]

The Australian Synchrotron is having its annual open day on August 15.  Entry is free, but you must book via their website.

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